Gina Pugliese – respected colleague, trusted advisor and dear friend – passed away peacefully on March 4 surrounded by her loved ones. As with anything she took on, Gina was relentless, determined and valiant as she deployed her usual boundless energies against an unworthy opponent.
Gina was a Fellow in The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America (SHEA) and a scholarship in her name was established by SHEA to promote the training of a non-physician infection preventionist (IP) who has shown outstanding interest and leadership in the field or works in a resource-limited setting. To donate, visit Gina Pugliese Scholarship. Select “Specific Scholarship Donation” and choose “Gina Pugliese Scholarship” from the dropdown menu.
Gina led Premier’s Safety Institute® and drove significant improvements in healthcare safety for 17 years before officially retiring in 2016. As a Strategic Advisor consultant and Vice President, Emeritus (she is the sole recipient of that special honor), Gina contributed to Premier, our members and their patients up to the very end of her life. She continued to guide our work on antimicrobial surveillance, opioids, implementation of tubing and other safety standards, as well as an array of other public health issues.
During Gina’s career, she helped shape the practice of infection control, bringing innovation and leadership to the field. She was a prolific writer and educator, sharing her knowledge at more than 300 conferences in 21 countries, publishing over 150 articles and eight books and as faculty for Rush University College of Nursing and University of Illinois, Public Health. She also served as an associate editor for the American Journal of Infection Control and the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Gina sat on numerous national policy committees, providing congressional testimony for regulatory initiatives.
Gina received numerous recognitions and awards for her contributions to her field including Employee of the Year at the American Hospital Association, recognition by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for her work on bloodborne pathogens training for OSHA and the establishment of the Gina Pugliese Scholarship by SHEA (The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America). She also received the Carol De Mille outstanding achievement award from APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Prevention and Control) and was named by Becker as one of Top 50 Experts in Patient Safety.
Gina was a bright and shining light and anyone who had the fortune to know her, had their life touched in immeasurable ways.